After the election, calm settled over the Cree universe, and then reality set in. The headlines peeped in quietly and a thankful fax appeared on the front desks of band offices from the new head honcho. Apparently a discussion was held about the new leader on CBC North but it could only be heard up here by shortwave radio. No cameramen appeared from various television broadcasters and the Gazette limply bleated that an opposition leader had been elected to steer the Cree for the next four years. The under coverage was strange, unbefitting the information storm that had reached cataclysmic proportions on the day of the elections, when mud flew and the artful dodger carefully dodged one sling after another. Yep, after the mud cakes dry out, we’re due for one heck of a clean up.

Aside from near rioting on the streets of one of the larger communities in the north and a few rowdy rednecks tossed out of a bar or two (still loudly and defiantly denying the vote count, a frothing-at-the-mouth type of drunk), Eeyou Istchee went back to work with the attitude of another day, another dollar. A sense of a new beginning was brought up here and there, but as reality dictates, we still have to bring home the bannock and beans to feed the family. Going back to the office, construction site, land, etc… had that familiar ring to it, “Get back to work!”

Now that the political stew needs some stirring up, as the meat had settled to the bottom and was close to burning, some spice has been added and we as clients of the Eeyou Bistro will taste it soon. How will it taste, one might ask? Will it taste the same, or will it have a smoked flavour? Will there be more meat, or will it be watered down after too much time in a boiling pot? Will it be northern-accented or steak house spice and wine to polish it off? Today, it’s difficult to say, but let’s just hope that the mud is left on the bottom of our shoes and not accidentally dropped into the 30 years of careful (or reckless abandon in some years) stewing, making the flavour of northern Eeyou much sought after by other cooks and chefs from North America.

Now that there is a new chef, the stew may be changed somewhat, or it may be doled out in dollops or eked out by the spoonful. It’s surprising what one flavour can do, make it or break it. Words of advice to the chef, stir it and taste it once in a while, to see if it is burning at the bottom or if it is spiced just right, or requires some salt of the sea or perhaps an onion to make a tear or two, just before tossing into the bubbling sea of politics we like to call Cree togetherness.

I for one know that no matter what we do, we always get copied in one way or another by others across the country. The Eeyou Nation is looked at as a Nation that leads the way by example and conduct. Sure, there are other richer nations that have few resources, save for casinos and oil. But we still have the land to go back to in case of hard times, which is not the case for other nations. We are lucky that we have mud to sling around.